« PreviousContinue »
the vtter ruine and ouerthrowe of the whole state. For they will not thincke it is done in recompense of their seruice past, sithence they know well enough they haue so ofte refused to go to the warres, when they were commaunded : neither for their mutinies when they went with vs, whereby they haue rebelled and forsaken their countrie: neither for their accusations which their flatterers haue preferred vnto them, and they haue receiued, and made good against the senate : but they will rather judge we geue and graunt them. this, as abasing our selues, and standing in feare of them, and glad to flatter them euery way. By this. meanes, their disobedience will still grow worse and worse : and they will neuer leave to practise newe sedition, and vprores. Therefore it were a great follie for vs, me thinckes to do it: yea, shall I saye more? we should, if we were wise, take from them their tribuneshippe, which most manifestly is the embasing of the consulshippe, and the cause of the diuision of the cittie. The state whereof as it standeth, is not now as it was wont to be, but becommeth dismembred in two factions, which mainteines allwayes ciuill dissention and discorde betwene vs, and will. neuer suffer vs againe to be united into one bodie." STEEVENS. 155 They would not thread the gates :
-1 That is, pass them. We yet say, to thread an alley..
JOHNSON 160. could never be the native] Native for na. tural birth.
WARBURTON. Native is here not natural birth, but natural parent;
or cause of birth. But I would read motive, which without any distortion of its meaning, suits the speaker's purpose.
JOHNSON. 173. No, take more: What
may be sworn by, both divine and human,
Seal what I end withal !- -] The false pointing hath made this unintelligible. It should be read and pointed thus:
No, take more ;
may be sworn by. Both divine and human, Seal what I end withal !i.e. No, I will still proceed, and the truth of what I shall say may be sworn to.
both divine and human powers, [i. e. the gods of Rome and the senate] confirm and support my conclusion.
WARBURTON. 184. That love the fundamental part of state,
More than you doubt the change of 't;-] To doubt is to fear. The meaning is, You whose zeal predominates over your terrours ; you do not so much fear the danger of violent measures, as wish the good to which they are necessary, the preservation of the original.constitution of our government. JOHNSON.
187. To jump a body-] Thus the old copy.
To jump anciently signified to jolt, to give a rude concussion to any thing. To jump a body may therefore mean, to put it into a violent agitation or commotion.
So, in Phil. Holland's translation of Pliny's Nat. Hist. B. XXV. ch. v. p. 219. “ If we looke for good successe in our cure by ministring ellebore, &c. for certainly it putteth the patient to a jumpe, or great hazard."
Steevens. 192. -which should become it;] Become, for adorn.
WARBURTON. Integrity is in this place soundness, uniformity, consistency, in the same sense as Dr. Warburton often uses it, when he mentions the integrity of a metaphor. To become, is to suit, to befit.
JOHNSON 216. -shake thy bones
Out of thy garments.] So, in King John:
-here's a stay,
“That shakes the rotten carcase of old death
STEEVENS. 230. To the people~Coriolanus, patience :] I would read:
Speak to the people. Coriolanus, patience: -
TYRWHITT. 296. One time will owe another.] I know not whether to owe in this place means to possess by right, or to be indebted. Either sense may be admitted. One time, in which the people are seditious, will give us power in some other time: or this time of the people's predominance will run them in debt: that is, will lay them open to the law, and expose them hereafter to more servile subjection.
JOHNSON. 304. Before the tag return?- -] The lowest and most despicable of the populace are still denominated by those a little above them, Tag, rag, and bobtail. JOHNSON.
338. Do not cry havock,--] i. e. Do not give the signal for unlimited slaughter, &c. STEEVENS.
Do not cry havock, where you should but hunt
With modest warrant.] To cry havock, was, I believe, originally a sporting phrase, from hafoc, which in Saxon signifies a hawk. It was afterwards used in war. So, in K. John :
-Cry havock, kings." And in Julius Cæsar :
“ Cry havock, and let slip the dogs of war. It seems to have been the signal for general slaughter, and is expressly forbid in the Ordinances des Batailles, 9 R. ii. art. 10.
-“ Item, que nul soit si hardy de crier havock sur "peine d'avoir la test coupé."
The second article of the same Ordinances seems to have been fatal to Bardolph. It was death even to touch the pix of little price.
“ Item, que nul soit si hardy de toucher le corps de nostre Seigneur, ni le vessel en quel il est, sur peyne d'estre traine & pendu, & le teste avoir coupé." MS. Cotton. Nero D. VI.
TYRWHITT. 374. This is clean kam.] i. e. Awry. So Cotgrave interprets, Tout va à contrepoil. All goes clean kam. Hence a kambrel for a crooked stick, or the bend in a horse's hinder leg.
WARBURTON The Welch word for crooked is kam; and in Lylly's Endymion, 1591, is the following passage : “But timely, madam, crooks that tree that will be a camočk, and young it pricks that will be a thorn."
Again, in Sappho and Phao, 1591 :
“Camocks must be bowed with sleight not strength." Vulgar pronunciation has corrupted clean kam into kim kam, and this corruption is preserved in that great repository of ancient vulgarisms, Stanyhurst’s translation of Virgil, 1582 :
“ Scinditur incertum studia in contraria vulgus."
STEEVENS. 375. Merely awry: -] i.e. absolutely. STEEVENS. 403.
-the end of it Unknown to the beginning. ] So, in the Tempest: “ The latter end of his commonwealth forgets its beginning."
STEEVENS. 423. I muse, -] That is, I wonder, I am at a loss.
JOHNSON. 428. —my ordinance
--] My rank. JOHNSON 439. The thwartings of your dispositions, --] The folio reads:
The things of your dispositions, Mr. Rowe made the alteration, which I have followed, as my predecessors had done, though without dis. tinguishing it to the reader.
STEEYENS. 479. Why force youn] Why urge you:
JOHNSON. 494 Lour general lowts] Our common clowns.
JOHNSON, 497 that want -] The want of their loves.
JOHNSON D iij